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17 Loya Jirga delegates test positive for COVID-19

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(Last Updated On: August 8, 2020)

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health on Saturday confirmed 17 Loya Jirga delegates had tested positive for COVID-19. 

According to officials, the delegates infected with the virus had not been allowed to enter the hall. 

Noorullah Taraki, deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, said the members of the Loya Jirga who tested positive have been taken to a COVID-19 treatment facility in Kabul. 

Critics meanwhile raised their voices on Friday over the apparent lack of adherence to health protocols by the delegates on Friday in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

It was clear that very few delegates wore face masks and no social distancing practices were followed as 3,200 delegates sat shoulder to shoulder in the hall. 

This comes after a Public Health Ministry report released last week indicated up to 10 million Afghans had been infected with coronavirus – which has had an enormous impact on the country’s already fragile health system and economy. 

The Jirga will decide on the fate of 400 Taliban prisoners and the way forward regarding intra-Afghan talks. 

Comprising tribal elders, community leaders and politicians, 3,200 people from around the country are attending the event. 

Chairing the Jirga is Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation. 

He said Saturday on Twitter that Friday’s deliberations had continued late into the night but that a resolution would be announced on Saturday. 

We began the second working day of the Consultative Peace Jirga. Yesterday 33 out of 50 working committees of the #CPJ submitted their suggestions, which continued till late evening. Today, the remaining 17 committees will submit their suggestions.

The outcome of the committees suggestions on the release of 400 Taliban prisoners & other peace related issues will be announced today. The people of Afghanistan, & the international community looking forward for a positive, & constructive outcome to start the intra-Afghan talks.”

 

COVID-19

Afghanistan records 93 deaths from COVID-19 in Last 24 hours

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(Last Updated On: June 20, 2021)

Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said Sunday that 93 people have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours across the country.

The ministry said that 1,927 new positive cases of COVID-19 were recorded, while 526 others recovered in the same period.

So far, 103,921 people have been infected with the virus out of which 4,215 died of the virus.

This comes as hospitals in Kabul face a shortage of oxygen supplies as the country is dealing with the third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Kabul citizens said that the price of one oxygen cylinder has increased to up to 30,000 AFN ($386) from 500 AFN ($6.4) as demand for the oxygen mounts.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Wahid Majrooh, Acting MoPH Minister, however, stated that the ministry has addressed the issue at the public hospitals.

 “In all COVID-19 hospitals Oxygen production plants are activated, and provide the necessary oxygen for the hospitals,” added Majrooh.

The acting minister added vaccination campaign is underway and that 450, 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would arrive in Kabul in July.

He also called on people to adhere to precaution measures in order to contain the spread of the virus.

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92 people die of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours

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(Last Updated On: June 19, 2021)

Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said on Saturday that 92 people have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours across the country.

The ministry said that 1,384 new cases of COVID-19 out of 4,389 tested were reported in the mentioned time.

According to the ministry, 497 others recovered from COVID-19 in this time.

The health ministry said that with the new cases, the total now stands at 101,906 and the death toll is 4,122.

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U.S. requires embassy staff in Afghanistan to telework amid COVID-19 outbreak

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(Last Updated On: June 18, 2021)

Staff in the U.S. embassy in Kabul are being required to telework, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Thursday, citing a “significant outbreak of COVID-19” that has sickened officials and killed one local embassy staffer.

The embassy was taking steps to ensure safety of staff by “requiring all staff to telework and to adhere to physical distancing, masking requirements and other applicable regulations,” Price said.

Price declined to say how many embassy staff had been infected, but said 95% of the cases at the embassy were individuals who were not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated against the virus.

“We are saddened by the deaths of many valiant Afghans who’ve been sickened by this pandemic and we in fact grieve the passing of a local embassy staff member,” Price said, adding normal embassy operations would resume when “the chain of transmission has been broken.”

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